Eco-friendly feline litters and their benefits

Litter Box with cat litter

Let’s face it, our environment is constantly at risk of pollution by all manner of wastes that we emit. Cat litter is no exception and hence eco-friendly cat litter without sodium bentonite has been embraced by environmentally conscious cat owners.

These are cat litter made from natural products that are harmless even when ingested by cats.

The most common and cheap available cat litter in your favorite store is probably a clay-based clumping litter. This is great because of its super clumping ability and it can swell up to 15 times its original volume absorbing the cat poop and pee. It makes scooping out the waste clumps easy and additional litter added without cleaning out the entire box. This makes it a favorite for many cat owners.

However, with time, these clay-based litters which contain sodium bentonite and silica dust have been linked to upper respiratory infections in both cats and humans. When ingested, they can cause gastrointestinal distress and even death in extreme cases.

Sodium bentonite clumping clay litter is dangerous especially to kittens and aging cats. They ingest this toxic cat litter through inhalation and licking their paws.

Cats after using the litter box tend to have the bentonite clay clumping litter sticking to their paws. They then proceed to lick their paw, ingesting the litter which cumulatively forms a hard lump in the stomach. The body tries to self-cleanse by repeated bouts of diarrhea-causing wasting since the body isn’t absorbing nutrients during this time.

In extreme cases, this continues to the cat’s demise.

For these reasons, cheap becomes expensive and natural litters have quickly risen as an alternative. They can even cost less in the long run, saving you lots of money on veterinarian medical fees.

These are:

  • Non-toxic
  • Non-scented
  • Good odor absorbent

Natural and Alternative Non-Toxic Cat Litters

Natural and alternative eco-friendly cat litters are made from:

  1. Recycled paper
  2. Plant-based materials such as wheat, corn, grass, alfalfa, and grain
  3. Wood
  4. Silica or crystal pellets
  5. Medicinal litters

These litters have distinct advantageous features such as:

  1. They are commonly more costly than clumping and non-clumping clay litters.
  2. They come in pellet, drop and granule structure and are made of an assortment of substances.
  3. They will, in general, retain dampness and control scents superior to dirt.
  4. Most are biodegradable, contain no synthetic added substances, produce less residue and cause almost no tracking.
  5. Most types, as indicated by makers, can be flushed or composted (even though this is not a good idea duet to the danger of spreading parasites and maladies).

There can be a few issues, however, with natural litters which include:

  1. Those that are ground into chips and granules are delicate and light in surface than conventional mud litter. These interests to felines have a tendency to cause tracking.
  2.  The other issue concerns the size of certain cat litters, which are produced using substances that are squeezed into pellets. Research has demonstrated that felines lean toward fine litter that feels like earth or sand under their paws, and albeit bigger pellets tend to eliminate tracking, some cats prefer not to utilize them.

Got time? Here’s an in-depth breakdown of the best natural clumping cat litter.

Eco-friendly clumping cat litter without sodium bentonite

1. Paper cat litter:

This is produced using reused paper or newspaper and comes in either pellets or little pieces—some so little that they closely resemble traditional clay. These two are both lightweight and can be flushed down the toilet in little amounts.

 Paper litters are said to be up to 300 percent spongier than some clay litters. As the pellets retain pee, they swell up to contain dampness and smell and form clumps that are easy to remove.


  • They are non-poisonous
  • Are treated, leaving no ink stains on the cat’s feet.
  • Great for declawed cats and those that are post-surgery, since they are tender on the paws.
  • Cat litter without sodium bentonite
  •  Paper litters are additionally useful for geriatric felines or cats with allergies.

2. Plant products cat litter:

They come in both clumping and non-clumping forms. The clumping eco biodegradable clumping cat litter without sodium bentonite include corn, wheat, and walnut.

Benefits include:

  • Clumping cat litter without sodium bentonite
  • Good odor control
  • Safe upon ingestion
  • Most can be flushed down the toilet
  • Most have minimum dust
  • They are exceptionally permeable; they absorb fluid like a sponge.

Corn litter:

This is a soft cat litter that’s easy to scoop and clumps well. It’s soft on the sensitive paws but should be used only when the wounds have healed completely due to the clumping effect of the litter.

 It has great odor control and maybe a little dusty hence tracking can occur.

Pro tip: Corn is a common target for aflatoxin mold growth and can be toxic to cats, hence most cat owners with cats with declawed paws will avoid using corn litter.

Wheat Litter:

This is ideal for cats with sensitive paws.

This is biodegradable litter that’s natural and has clumping abilities due to the wheat starch.

The enzymes present in the wheat neutralize odors. It has low dust levels too but sticks on the cat’s paws causing tracking.

Grass Litter:

It has good clumping abilities and is biodegradable since it’s natural. It does a good job of controlling odors and is easy to scoop.

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